My husband and I recently became home owners. While this life milestone was cause for celebration, I don’t mind admitting that it has also filled me with dread. Prior to being a homeowner, back when I merely paid my rent and thought little else of the cost of housing, it was so easy to call the landlord when an issue involving the home reared its ugly head. Air conditioner on the fritz? No problem! Call the landlord. Husband is inept and failed to properly screw in the water hose to the washing machine thereby flooding all of the carpet in the hall (true story)? Call the landlord. Need to bury a dead body? It’s the landlord’s problem! (Just kidding on that last one, a dead body is still your problem.)
So buying a house and suddenly assuming all of the responsibility for home maintenance and repair has been nerve wracking. Once you are financially responsible for it, it is amazing how much money goes out the door to pay for your house. It is for this reason that skill number one on our list of five skills that will save you money is handyman skills.
Learning to be a half-way competent handyman will not only help you to fix issues that might (will) arise in your house, it will help you assess what is wrong and know when to spend the money to have it fixed and when to attempt it yourself. It is an unfortunate fact of life that time really does equal money. Therefore, when you pay for a plumber, you are really paying for their time. The fix itself may only cost pennies, but the labor costs are what will kill you. Once you learn to handle the small repairs yourself, you will have money hand over fist. Don’t be afraid! Use the vast knowledge of the internet and the people around you. Look up a skill and learn it once, save money forever!
“But Richly Reasonable,” you say, “I don’t have time to become an excellent handyman. Which skills should I focus on in my limited free time to maximize my savings?” Well, you’re in luck, I was just getting to that. Focus on these skills and with even a minimal time investment, you will save your hard-earned cash.
Plumbing. While designing and installing the plumbing for a house is quite an ordeal, most minor plumbing issues that arise in a house are usually easy fixes. Learn how to unclog a drain, fix a leaky faucet, stop a running toilet, and replace that leaky pipe under the sink and you are about 90% of the way to plumbing financial independence.
Carpentry Skills. You do not need to know how to build a table from scratch, but some carpentry skills will definitely come in handy. Learn how to patch drywall, hang something heavy (tv, mirror, etc.) on a wall, straighten up a hung door that has gone askew, and seal the openings to your house, and (barring a man cave addition) you will probably never need to call for help again.
Landscaping Skills. While its so much easier to call a landscaping service, the $100 a month for their services starts to get old quick. Learn to mow your lawn, weed, properly water and fertilize your grass, trim trees, cut back bushes, and adjust your sprinkler system and you will save money and have something beautiful to look at. Nothing beats staring out over your well-manicured yard at the end of a long day.
What do you think readers? What handyman skills do you recommend for saving money around the house? Let us know below.